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Cablegate: Sitrep 5: Initial Observations: Peaceful And

VZCZCXRO3860
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1675 3031133
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301133Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5068
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS KINSHASA 001675

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM CG ELECTIONS
SUBJECT: SITREP 5: INITIAL OBSERVATIONS: PEACEFUL AND
ORDERLY ELECTIONS

REF: KINSHASA 1674 AND PREVIOUS

1. (SBU) Summary. Preliminary conversations with
representatives of several of the international observer
missions in DR Congo for the October 29 elections generally
reflected U.S. Mission reports of mostly peaceful and
efficient voting in all areas of the country. Missions will
release official preliminary assessments during the next
week. End summary.

2. (SBU) Representatives of several international observer
teams said they were impressed with the overall poll
operations on October 29 and with the orderliness of the
counting procedures at voting stations. The Carter Center,
the South African Development Community-Parliamentary Forum
(SADC-PF), South Africa Observer Mission (SAOM), European
Union (EU) Observer Mission, and the Common Market for
Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) together fielded over
500 observers (of 1100 international observers) in all
provinces.

3. (SBU) A Carter Center representative with whom we spoke
shared our initial observations that polling procedures were
largely implemented properly in Kinshasa and throughout the
country. No Carter Center observers encountered hostility
directed at them as members of the international community.
Carter Center observers noted a large number of party
witnesses but found many poorly informed and trained.
Initial assessments from observers were that almost all sites
visited had either been satisfactory or very satisfactory in
their operations. The Carter Center expects to issue a
preliminary statement by the afternoon of November 1 and a
post-election report following the Independent Electoral
Commission's provisional announcement of presidential
results, which is scheduled to occur no later than November
19.

4. (SBU) A SADC-PF representative said he had encountered
only minor difficulties, such as a few ballot boxes not
properly sealed in a center in the Kinshasa district of
Bandalunga. He also noted that many political party
witnesses at the sites he visited seemed not to know their
duties well.

5. (SBU) A SAOM representative told us that "as a rule,
everything went well." He said most of the polling stations
in the eastern part of the country had opened on time, with
only the provinces of Bandundu, Bas Congo, and Kinshasa
affected by the rain. According to one SAOM observer in
Bukavu, a presiding officer was suspended for allegedly
telling voters for whom to vote. Another SAOM observer in
Bunia said that a station had closed for the night without
counting the provincial votes.

6. (SBU) An EU observer characterized Election Day as without
major incident and noted higher turnout in Eastern and
Western Kasai than in the first round. He also noted an
increase in political party witnesses in Kinshasa. He said
the number of additional witnesses seemed to confuse poll
workers, who did not understand that carbon copies of results
sheets were available for each witness; the poll workers
often provided only one copy and sent the rest to collection
centers. He cited poor training as one reason for this error.

7. (SBU) A COMESA representative based in Kinshasa said
COMESA observers in the other provinces saw peaceful voting
and counting and officials working hard to maintain
transparency. He said that nearly every voting station he
visited in Kinshasa had at least 200 voters out of some
300-370 registered. Police officers throughout the city told
him the situation remained calm throughout the day. COMESA
had not received any complaints of fraud from political
parties. COMESA observers in Kinshasa met many party
witnesses, some trying to direct voting procedures. He said
poll workers acted to rein in the witnesses.

8. (SBU) Each of these missions will use the next few days to
evaluate the collection and transportation of ballots and
results. They are planning to issue preliminary reports
after the bulk of the votes have been compiled, as many of
the problems during the July 30 election appeared not during
voting but during the compilation process.
MEECE

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